In history, society has lacked an adequate understanding of youth during their transition period between childhood and adolescence. As a result, young people often have been “growing up forgotten.” During the period of early adolescence, specifically between ages 10-15, young people leave childhood and progress toward full adolescence, making major decisions about their values, standards, attitudes, and personal beliefs. Many of their decisions impact their behavior throughout their lives.
As a result, October is theMonth of the Young Adolescent, an annual international collaborative effort of education, health, and youth-focused organizations. Initiated by the National Middle School Association, Month of the Young Adolescent brings together a wide range of organizations to focus on the needs of young people ages 10 to 15.
The issues that are brought to the forefront during the Month of the Young Adolescent deserve year-round attention and commitment to ensure the well-being of all young adolescents. By celebrating this special month, NMSA and others hope to focus on:
The importance of parents being knowledgeable about young adolescents and being actively involved in their lives;
The understanding that healthy bodies plus healthy minds equal healthy young adolescents;
The realization that the education young adolescents experience during this formative period of life will determine the future for all citizens; and
The knowledge that every young adolescent should have the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams and aspirations, and post-secondary education should be a possibility for all.
The 5 Promises represent conditions children need to achieve adult success. The collective work of the Alliance involves keeping these promises to America’s youth. This article relates to the promises highlighted below: